Labor Day marks the official end of summer. After surviving the hottest summer on record, many people may be happy to see it come to an end.
Of course, this weekend also give us one last chance for a summer “hurrah.” We barbecue and take trips to embrace the waning summer sun before the leaves begin to fall and we get the flannel out of storage.
So what is the meaning behind the long holiday weekend that bookends our summer?
Labor Day a Much-Needed Day Off Before Autumn
The Readers Digest says the Industrial Revolution changed the nature of work in America. However, protections for workers, including safety regulations and guidelines for work hours, were slow to follow. This led to the rise of unions, which organized to negotiate for workers’ rights.
President Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into national law in 1894, giving credit for the new holiday to Matthew McGuire. McGuire was the secretary of a local New Jersey chapter of International Association of Machinists. He was a leading, if controversial, figure in the labor movement who fought for shorter hours and better wages for workers.
In other reporting, the Concord Monitor reports to first Labor Day celebration taking place in New York City on September 5, 1882. On that day, 10,000 labor workers marched in the streets in hopes of better working conditions for employees. In those days, it wasn’t uncommon to find young children working in the mills for 12-hours to 16-hours-per-day.
Luckily, American workers today benefit from the gains made in the past.
Of course, however you spend your holiday weekend, the Keating Agency always wishes for it to be safe for you and your family. Prince William Living offers the following:
- Use sunscreen and reapply every two hours
- Wear hats to protect you from the sun
- Drink plenty of water
- Wear light-weight attire
- Use sunglasses that block ultraviolet waves
- Avoid strenuous activity if it is very hot.
The Keating Agency and out employees also look forward to enjoying this long, holiday weekend. However, if you need us, know that we are there for you throughout the entire process.
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